Cranberry Muffins
Cranberry Muffins Considering the nutritional and medicinal properties of the cranberry, it's never a bad idea (unless you're prone to kidney stones) to incorporate them into our diet regime. Many of the things typically included in muffins and quick breads to add sweetness also contain many valuable nutrients, for example, raisins, dates, and cranberries! Cranberries also have a marvellous color which they impart to their recipes.

In the early fall, the cranberry harvest makes fresh cranberries available in the markets. Cranberries keep well in their packaging, and can also be found frozen year 'round. This muffin recipe produces a thick batter that keeps the chopped berries and nuts suspended. These Cranberry Muffins are similar to blueberry muffins because of the tartness that harmonizes so well with citrus zest. If you wish, lemon zest can replace the orange zest in the recipe.

1 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped

cup nuts, chopped

cup orange juice

1 tbls orange rind, finely grated

1 egg, well beaten

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

cup butter

Crushed Cranberries

Fresh Cranberries

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter to resemble coarse meal.

Whisk the egg with the orange juice and rind. Pour into a well in the dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Fold in cranberries and nuts.

Spoon batter into lightly greased and floured non-stick muffin pan. Bake at 350° F for 25 minutes. Cool in pan.

Goes well with Peach & Orange Marmalade or Bell Pepper Jam. BACK TO TOP OF PAGE

How do I get the batter into the muffin cups without making a mess all over the top of the pan? One helpful practice is to oil the top of the pan as well as the cups; if you want, you can oil and lightly flour the whole pan, even if it's non-stick. Another technique to ladle muffin batter neatly is with the use of a large ice cream scoop. You should be able to find an inexpensive scoop for under $5 with a plastic mechanism; a steel mechanism will cost over $10. The plastic type is actually easier on your hand because there's less resistance. The difficult task is to find a LARGE scoop, but they are made by Paderno in a large variety of different sizes. If you really want a muffin-sized scoop, look for a "portion scoop" like the ones used in cafeterias that come in standard sizes; this way, you can level the batter with a spatula or ruler for an exact measurement. You can lightly oil the scoop first, if you wish. The ladling process will be much neater and quicker, and you'll be able to make the muffins a uniform size for even baking.

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